Week of July 15– July 22, 2007, Vol. 2, No. 39

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings“A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world.” - Muhammad  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad  Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


This Week in Co-op Circles

·     Members of and investors in the Valley Funeral Home Co-operative Limited in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley have successfully raised more than $150,000 toward eliminating their mortgage through their on-going CEDIF (Community Economic Development Investment Fund) program offering. Additional investments are still welcome until August 11 to enable the co-operative to complete its CEDIF and make the co-operative debt free and 100% member owned. Investor advantages include a 30 per cent non-refundable Nova Scotia equity tax credit against Nova Scotia tax payable if held for five years and substantial savings on services provided to members of the co-operative. For more information visit: http://www.annapolisvalleyfuneralhome.com

·     The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and co-operatives are working together to develop new businesses thanks to an initiative which was started two years ago by the province and the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives (NLFC). To build on this initiative, the Provincial Government has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the federation. The MOU was signed at the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives and Canadian Co-operative Association’s national annual general meeting and co-operative congress in St. John’s. http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2007/intrd/0627n05.htm

·     Thirteen women have been dividing their time between training in Ottawa and Calgary and a program of onsite learning in one of 13 host credit unions in five provinces. The women are part of a mentoring program titled Giving Credit Where Credit is Due. This training and exposure program, designed by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), provides women staff of financial co-operatives with a unique opportunity for professional development. As well as placements in credit unions, the participants will attend the World Council of Credit Union’s Annual General Meeting, taking place in Calgary, in late July. The program receives funding from the Canadian International Development Agency’s Partnership Branch. Participants will work closely with credit union women like themselves, receiving general leadership training and learning the ins-and-outs of managing a loans program. Staff members at participating credit unions help the women achieve their learning objectives by sharing knowledge and skills and connecting them to credit union staff, policies and best practices. They also make their guests feel at home by greeting them on arrival, billeting them in private homes and introducing them to people, places and events in their community.  To learn more about the Canadian Co-operative Association and its women mentoring program, contact Laurie Tennian, 613-238-6711 or visit the Association’s Web site: www.coopscanada.coop/coopdevelopment/internationaldev/womensmentoring

·     Co-op Week is coming: October 14- 20.   For information and promotional material http://www.coopscanada.coop/aboutcoop/coopweek/2007coopweek/


Trends – This week I would like to introduce subscribers to a couple of the more useful Open Source software packages available for download. Some of the programs are obviously written to replace the functionality of commercially available packages. One such program is OpenOffice.org, meant to substitute Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite. OpenOffice.org (it is called that because the ‘Open Office’ name is trademarked by another company) includes ‘Writer’ for word processing, ‘Calc’ for spreadsheets, ‘Impress’ for presentations, ‘Base’ for a database, ‘Draw’ for drawing (actually meant to reproduce the functionality of CorelDraw), and ‘Math’, to write out mathematical equations. Search Wikipedia for ‘openoffice.org’ for more information. One Open Source program I use somewhat regularly is ‘The GIMP’. Gimp stands for ‘GNU Image Manipulation Program’ (GNU typically means Open Source, more on that in a later submission) and its goal is to provide the functionality of Adobe’s PhotoShop. Photoshop, which retails for about $1250 CDN, is a perfectly wonderful program for professionals photographers who need to do image manipulations – changing colours, hues, saturation, masking, etc – but non-professionals like me who appreciate the usefulness and functionality of Photoshop without the price and shiny box that Photoshop comes in are perfectly happy with ‘The GIMP’. Again, search Wikipedia for ‘the GIMP’ for additional information. As with anything ‘free’, there are sometimes limitations – some open source packages are available free on the internet, but for a minimal cost if you want a CD, and nice box and printed manual shipped to you – usually the price covers the cost of producing and shipping the media. How do you find open source software? I have found that if you Google ‘open source’ with the name of an equivalent commercial program or what you want the application to do, you usually end up with pretty good results. So if you Google ‘open source photoshop’, ‘the GIMP’ is right there on the first page. Google ‘open source email’ and you will get a pretty good list of open source email programs. Windows users may try looking at http://www.opensourcewindows.org/ for a listing of some of the more popular programs available by category. – Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Indigenous Plants:  As we continue to work in our gardens, think about using native or indigenous plants the next time you plant.  Native plants have all kinds of environmental benefits.  They have already adapted to local soil and climate conditions, not requiring watering, chemical fertilizers and pesticides to flourish.  As well, these plants support, and have grown along with, local bird, animal, butterfly and insect populations contributing to the local ecosystem.  For more information on native plants and to learn more about an organization that is striving to create sustainable communities through nature in a variety of outdoor spaces, check out:  http://www.evergreen.ca/nativeplants/ Bronwyn MacKinnon


What is Your Vision Statement?  –This week, a vision statement from Wave Graphic Design Co-operative, a thriving co-operative, providing a professional creative service predominately to the not-for-profit sector, based in East Sussex, England. We are driven by our desire to ensure every piece of work we produce is creative, appropriate and effective. It doesn’t matter whether the work is an A6 postcard or a complete identity. We approach our clients with the same care and attention, offering a full range of disciplines in-house from concept to illustration; typesetting to website builds.” www.wave.coop Send your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree with Erin Hancock - The Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership Program has recently filled the position of Program Coordinator. Trevor MacDougall, a graduate from Mount Royal College’s Non-Profit Management program, has a history of helping youth with life-skill development. Although this is Trevor’s first position within the co-operative system, he states: “I have led my life sharing many or all of the co-op values and principles.” He is keen “to teach youth about self-sustainability and to take pride in our beautiful communities that we have right here in the Atlantic Provinces.” If you would like to contact Trevor or offer anecdotes of your involvement in ACYL, he can be reached at Leadership@acyl.coop or (506)862-0737. Welcome Trevor!


You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way - Each week, we feature a co-operative or collective formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world. This week, we visit the Healthy Lifestyles Coop in Wisconsin. Its members’ goal is to stabilize health insurance rates through cooperative purchasing, personal responsibility and healthy lifestyles. http://www.healthylifestylescoop.org/


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·      July 20-22:  Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy: Building Cooperation East and South, University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Contest of the week – Last week, our first correct answer was from Dennis Williams, Fredericton, NB. Well done!! Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be place in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Last week’s contest and answer: As my birthday approaches I start to collect leaves. A little bizarre perhaps, but I enjoy it! On the first day of the month I collect one leaf, on the second day, I collect two and so on. So by my birthday I will have collected 276 leaves altogether. On which day of the month is my birthday?  Answer: on the 23rd day This week’s contest:   In Farmer Brown’s hayloft there are a number of animals, in particular crows, mice and cockroaches. Being bored one day, I decided to count the animals and found there were exactly 150 feet and 50 heads in total, and there were twice as many cockroaches as mice. How many of each animal were in his hayloft?


Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets.  From Ally, Grade 8, PEI:One thing in that presentation that really kind of made me think was how can we help but help so it actually can help and just not do something to them. I liked how we got to see the worry dolls and the cloths from Guatemala. I also think that when I am older I’d like to join a group similar to what you are in and maybe actually travel to some of the places you’ve been. Thanks so much for the presentation. It was awesome.”


Co-op Ed 101 - For three weeks in June I travelled with a Canadian Co-operative Association study tour which had representatives from five organizations and from four different countries. This week, I will introduce another guest, Rizal Malik, and his organization, Transparency International (TI) Indonesia. It is an independent, not-for-profit, and non-partisan non-governmental organization based in Indonesia with an affiliation to the global anti-corruption network. The objective of TI Indonesia is to promote transparency and accountability in government administration and business activities in Indonesia as a part of global effort to curb corruption. TI Indonesia is engaged in building National Integrity System, promoting good corporate governance, and strengthening the civil society capacity to curb corruption http://www.transparency.org/content/view/full/252/(filter)/i


Co-op Cooking – Summer always means “barbecue” at our house, and nothing goes better with a grilled steak or chicken than a good salad. Hope you like this one:

Creamy Pasta Salad

4 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta      2 to 3 cups thinly-sliced carrot

2 cups small broccoli florets          2 medium red or green peppers, cut into strips

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery       1 medium red onion, chopped

1 cup plain yogurt                         1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley      2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp dried dillweed

Cook pasta according to package directions. About 3 minutes before pasta is done, add carrot and broccoli to pot. Drain pasta mixture; rinse with cold water. In serving bowl, combine peppers, celery and onion. Add pasta and toss gently. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour half of dressing over salad, tossing to coat well. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Chill remaining dressing and serve with salad. -  Glenna Weagle


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Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the worldWe will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, July 25, 2007